Kick Off Your Food Adventure
We as a nation of cuisine pioneers are at a crossroads. Do we uphold the traditional condiments of our forefathers' generation or do we strike out into new territory? Do we choose to be, dare I say, "food boring?" No! I declare that we be food-venturous. Read on to explore 10 international condiments to tickle your tastebuds.
Ajvar is a tasty Serbian relish made from red bell pepper, garlic, eggplant, and chili pepper. Traditionally it's used as a spread on a piece of bread, but why not live extravagantly? Plop a big spoonful on top of the Croatian sausage, cevapcici, for a smoky flavor explosion. Start your foray into Eastern European cuisine with your first jar of ajvar.
Do you like Indian cuisine? How about German faire? How about combining the two in a bottle and smothering it all over your American brats? Currywurst is a German-made ketchup with the inspired addition of curry. Why stop at bratwurst? Try it on everything.
Fly your flavor tour to North Africa with a dollop of chermoula. With chermoula, your tastebuds travel to several countries where it calls home; this refreshing blend of herbs, oil, lemon juice, pickled lemon, garlic, cumin, and salt is found in Algerian, Libyan, Moroccan, and Tunisian cooking. Don't be a tourist by only taking in the sights. Try your first taste of chermoula today.
Tkemali is a tart Georgian plum sauce that gives you a pick of flavor. Red or green cherry plums are mixed with garlic, pennyroyal, coriander, dill, chili pepper, and salt for a full harvest of deliciousness! Deck out your next chicken or potato dish with this sweet sauce.
Banana ketchup is a popular Philippine fruit condiment created thanks to a tomato shortage during World War II. Today, there's no shortage of uses for this unique mesh of mashed banana, sugar, vinegar, and spices. Much like good old American ketchup, use its banana-based brethren on anything from eggs to burgers.
Turn up the volume on your grilling! Harissa is a hot chili pepper paste that delivers a sensational flavor alongside a melody of spices. The main act in this rock star condiment is roasted red pepper, Baklouti pepper, serrano pepper, and smoked chili pepper. Garlic paste, coriander seed, saffron, caraway, and oil play back-up on your tongue. Ignite your taste buds with your own harissa.
Love guacamole? So do we! Expand your flavor experience with the Venezuelan "avocado salsa," guasacaca. Also known as wasakaka, it contains citrus, parsley, garlic, and chili pepper and is a close cousin to chimichurri, though it has a thicker, chunkier consistency. This condiment is not awesome only because it has two names, but also because you can make it fresh at home!
This North Korean fermented bean paste brings a strong and savory flavor to your normal dishes. Put a twist on your old chicken soup recipe by using it in a soup base. Or trick your kids into liking veggies by flavoring beans with it. Either way, this versatile paste lets you you enjoy a simple, but mature flavor profile or, if you like dousing food in hot sauce, you can satisfy your tastebuds by trying a spicy version.
Add an Asian kick to your sandwiches! Made from crushed mustard seeds, karashi is a spicy Japanese mustard. And you can get it in either powder or paste form. Don't let it confuse you for your garden variety brown mustard! This version is usually a mix of powder and water, so it will pack a pungent punch. Its simplicity makes it perfect to stir into a marinade or blend into a sauce.
This thick, black food spread is popular Down Under as an addition to toast and pastries. It's made of leftover brewer's yeast extract, various vegetables, and spices. Yum! The flavor is often described as salty, savory, bitter, and malty. If you can't make it to Australia anytime soon, you can try vegemite out and stake claim on having eaten an Australian brunch!
No matter how you slice it, dice it, or buy it, make any one of these the star of your next meal. Or take a trip around the world and get all 10!